* Posts by Shadow Systems

71 posts • joined 26 Jul 2007


Reddit users discover iOS malware threat

Shadow Systems

Re: Makes Sense...

Well said.<br>If you want to JailBreak your phone that's fine, but don't be surprised when doing so renders the device wide open for malware infections such as this.<br>While JB'ing might allow the addition of extra functions, the use of applications from other sources, and tweaking the device to your heart's content, there are consequences to your actions, & evidently one of them is risking getting a virus.<P>Or as any SexEd teacher would tell you, bag it before you shag it else you'll hate it when they scrape it.<br>*Cough*<p>Seriously, why do it at all?<br>Are there really so few applications available for the device that you feel the need to JB it in order to gain access to a few more?<br>Does the device not have the functionality already built in that you want, and if not, why did you buy it then?<br>I'm not trying to be flippant, I'm honestly curious.<br>If you had a choice between umpty zillion devices from a specific carrier (in the US) or a gajizillion out of carrier (everyone else), why buy a device that required you to JB it in order for it to do what you wanted?<br>Why not just buy a device that did it in the first place?<br>Just wondering...


Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

Shadow Systems

Oh, those are easy to answer!

The First is what you're experiencing, complaining to El Reg about an ancient story presented on Google.

The Second is what you're acting like, complaining to El Reg about an ancient story presented on Google.

Now improve the first by pulling your head out of the second.

Ta Daaa! =-D


This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

Shadow Systems

Too little, too late.

XP has been running for the last 13 years on hardware nearly as old.

Anyone using a copy of XP on an XP era machine knows full good & well that It Works.

If they've stuck with XP this long, especially after all the media coverage to upgrade, what do you think the chances are of them actually doing it?

Contrary to popular belief, $500 +tax +shipping isn't an inconsiderable amount of money, especially if you live on a fixed income (Pension, Disability, Minimum Wage, etc).

So being able to plonk down half a thousand for a brand spanking new computer, when the old one Just Works, is grasping at straws.

If GrandFather has to choose between refilling his arthritis medication and buying a new computer (especially if the one he's using Just Works), then the computer doesn't get the dosh.

Anyone whom has lived in a low/fixed income situation for any length of time has learned to Make Do with what you've got, especially if it Just Works.

Don't like that 19 inch Standard Definition, RCA plug sporting, Rabbit Ears antenna using, no coax connecter, television? Too bad, it works, so you can't afford to toss it out to get a new one.

Same thing goes with the computer.

If it's worked for the last 13 years, it's still working now, and you haven't got the cash to upgrade, then you don't upgrade.

And you want them to upgrade to an operating system that all their friends, family, and their personal (read Unpaid) TechSupport person has told them to avoid like the plague?

Not for a Hundred, doubtfull for Five Hundred, and "maybe" for a full thousand.

Essentially, if you *Gave Away* the computer to those whom are still using XP, then *MAYBE* they'd be willing to migrate.

And those are just the private citizens reluctant to stop using what works.

Government agencies, financial institutions, merchants' Point of Sale control software, "Advanced" Flight Control Systems (Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., the equiv in the rest of the world) using XP to keep planes from playing bumper tag in the skies, pharmacies using it to control inventory systems & ordering systems, schools using it because they don't have the budget to upgrade nor the staff to do the job even if they could scrape up the cash, etc etc etc.

The U.K. is hounding MS to continue support for XP, because they don't want, can't afford, and can't give a good reason to "upgrade" to Win8.

The hardware still works, the software still works, and nobody wants to throw good money out the window on the off chance they'll be able to use Win8 worth a damn.

It doesn't matter if I like Win8 or not, it doesn't matter if You like it either, the General Public has spoken, and XP, even if it's ONLY *Down To* a 15% market share, is *STILL* doing better than Win8.

So what if MS is offering $100 off some crappy, overpriced, Win8 equipped machine?

They'll spend more than that $100 on retraining to use Win8, buy all new software (Office, their XP software *IF* a newer version exists), and to migrate all their data.

Unless, of course, the devices they're using with XP can even be supported under Win8.

That old Konnica DotMatrix printer that's still going strong, prints Just Fine for the needs of it's owner, and requires a Parallel Port to interface, will be a rather amusing project to get working on a current machine.

"Just buy a new one!"

Uh huh, so now they have to spend even MORE money to "modernize", only to end up not being able to do what they can currently do Just Fine on their XP machine?

GrandDad isn't going to shell out nearly a thousand dollars for a new machine, a new printer, a new scanner, a new fax machine, a new copy of Office, fresh copies of $RandomProgram, just because MS whines at them to do so.

He'll give 'em The Finger, tell 'em to shove off, and keep right on pecking on that original IBM clicky keyboard, connected via DIN plug, smacking his "newfangled" two button mouse, staring at his 15 inch 1024x768 "high resolution" CRT, and transcribing all his memoires in his perfectly functional copy of WordStar2000...

And you can pry his Lotus Notes 123 out of his cold, dead hands.


So Microsoft, you'll have to do better than this.

There's a perfectly valid reason those "hold outs" are doing it.

Because the hardware still works, the software still works, they can't afford to upgrade, and everything they've heard in the news, read in the paper, gotten in their email, and been told by their Tech Support GrandKids says Win8 is an absolute pile o' crap.

If they're already unwilling to upgrade under those conditions, do you REALLY think insulting them with a hundred dollar whine is going to change their minds?

And all it takes is a single question to derail your "upgrade":

"Whill this new machine still be running in 13 years like my old one?"

If the answer isn't a resounding yes (and made in writing), then you'll get laughed at.

"Why should I buy a new car with all those bells & whistles, when my Volvo stationwagon still runs just fine?

Sure it's cantankerous on cold mornings, but hell, so am I!"

If you're LUCKY, they'll get talked into getting a Win7 machine instead, but that STILL opens the can o' worms of having to buy all new software, new hardware, and having someone retrain them to the new UI.

Because no matter how much of that crack pipe you suck down, the "Ribbon" UI is still a dingleberry infested arse fold, and "Metro" makes the "Ribbon" look *good*.


Now if you'll pardon me, I've got an XP machine I'm currently reformatting.

It's getting Linux, & MS is getting The Finger.



Who wants to work on a 264-Core, 6TB RAM supercomputer?

Shadow Systems

*Pavlovian Geeky Drooling*

I'd name it WOPPER and ask it to play games with me.



On another note, what are all the unlabeled & undescribed Radio Buttons for between the post Text Entry Field & the Preview/Submit buttons?

Grab the person in charge of the UI & smash their head into the wall while reciting the W3C Accessibility Standards WRT improperly/unlabeled screen elements.

If you don't describe them, then anyone using a Screen Reader can't interact with them.

Fix it & I'll stop trying to tie your nipples to the back of a speeding bus, M'kay?


Sandisk breaks 128GB barrier with new $199 MICROSD card

Shadow Systems

I'd love to get a couple.

Get a pair of them, including the full sized SD card adapter, & slip one into my laptop as "Ready Boost".

I've currently got a full sized 32Gb card in that role, & the difference without it is huge.

So going from 32 to 128 should be more than enough to give this sucker stubby little wings... and a Titan V Booster Rocket up it's arse.

*Amused cough*

The other one would go in my Audio Book player / Ebook reader / music player / digital voice recorder.

It's got a 64Gb card in it at the moment, but I'd have a LOT of fun adding another 64Gb to the mix.

A ton of AB's, EB's, & MP3's to listen to on the bus/train, while waiting in lines, or enough room to record about a week of audio?

*Geeky swoon*




Without a smartphone your reptile brain gets a workout

Shadow Systems

Of course it's possible...

<Old Crotchety Bastard voice>Iiii've got a Basic Phone, and that's the way Iiiii LIKE it!</Bastard>

It's a Samsung Haven. No camera, no downloadable apps, no ring tones, no games, can't be used as a tethered modem, *nada*.

It makes & takes voice calls, sends & receives text messages, and it's built in, non upgradeable, non deleteable, "This is what it's got & that's all you get!" features include a calculator (with a maximum of 2 decimal places, & if the answer uses more than 10 digits, the phone pukes), a "tip calculator", and "Health & Wellness" selections of craptastic looped midi "songs" of "ocean waves" that sounds more like my cat frolicking in the litter box.

Check email? Not possible.

Go online? There's no Browser, no way to install one, & as previously mentioned, it can't be tethered to a computer.

(There's a MicroUSB port, but it's only for charging & doesn't include the Data connections.)

In short, it's a Basic, not even a Feature Phone.

So if you *really* want to test your ability to disconnect, stop pussy footing around & get a *completely* Basic phone.

The fact that your Nokia can do *anything* online means you've not really disconnected from anything, merely throttled it to such a degree as to make it FEEL that way.

<Shakes a palsied fist menacingly>You young whippersnappers with your fancy Features, Smart, Apps, Angry Flappy birds, ring tones, games playin', tweet makin', Self-eez snappin', instagrammy shootin', infographic makin', lolcatz surfin', GUI usin' uppity miscreants! Now get off my laaaaawn!</gibbering old coot>



PSST! New PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled are out there – and will be into 2015, at least

Shadow Systems

Dear MS. Fek off. You owe us another decade.

Windows XP started in 2001, was still officially supported nearly a decade later, & had paid for support still available nearly 5 years after that.

Windows 7 has been out what, 2 years? and you're claiming support ends next year?

Fek that. You owe users of Windows 7 at least the same stability, dedication to support, & gratitude.

If Windows 7's nearly *FIFTY PERCENT* market share isn't proof that you need to support it, then what the hell brand of crack are you snorting off each others' bums, because it's left you so far out there that you've bid goodbye to the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

XP has ~30%, 7 has ~50%, and 8 barely broke the double digit threshold earlier.

XP has been going strong for over a decade, 7 needs to go for at LEAST that long, and 8 needs to be shot in the head like the UI abboration that it is.

Stop fekking with your customers, or we'll give you The Finger and head for greener pastures, like Apple, Android, Chrome, Linux, or even something MORE slap-in-the-face-inducing like *BeOs*.

Now pull your heads from your arse & rejoin the rest of the Real World, ok?

Your customers have spoken, they want Windows 7.

They do NOT want Windows 8.

You can polish that sucker until it outshines the sun, it's still a toxic lump of shite.


Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

Shadow Systems

If they have to buy a whole new machine...

Then they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac or the *Nix distribution of choice.

If you have to completely retrain yourself to use Windows because WinXP is *nothing* like Win8.x, then you've already accepted relearning a new operating system & might as well add Apple & *Nix to the mix.

Once you've done that, you'll realize you can either spend the funds on having your TechSupportPerson upgrade your current machine to *Nix for a pizza & a pint, and never pay another penny to Microsoft,

Or you can pay double the cost of a typical Windows machine to get a Mac towards the same end.

Since TechSupportPerson can quite easily theme the distro to look like XP & thus ease your culture shock, why not give *Nix a try?

Except for some very specific tasks, *Nix already does everything Windows can do, and gets the job done for free.

Email client and Word Processing Productivity suite?

Got it, and it's free instead of another ~$300 for "Office UberPremium MightActuallyWorkThisTime" edition.

Browser? Got so many choices you'll wonder why Windows is so limited.

Media players? Ditto, and they're free to boot.

Watching kitten videos on YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, etc? Not a problem, as long as you don't mind it not being in YetAnotherInternetExplorerWindow.

Tax prep? Accounting? Hobby progress keeper? Mechanical Engineering? Advanced Desk Top Publishing? You name it, *Nix has got it, and all of it is *Free*.

So if you've got to help your friends upgrade up & away from Windows XP to something modern, why not do it with style & show them the way to freedom?


Fujitsu launches lappie for oldies

Shadow Systems

I wouldn't mind having one...

...but the fact that it runs Win8 is a definite stumbling block, and the price is a deal breaker.

Let me have it with Win7 or *Nix, and reduce the price significantly, and then it becomes a good deal.

Larger keys on the keyboard, audio DSP to adjust hard to hear tones to a more hearable range, and other enhancements to make it easier for those with less-than-perfect hearing, vision, & mobility?

They deserve a serious pat on the back for making the effort, even if they've made serious missteps in the OS & pricing departments.


Asus unveils dirt-cheap Chromebox desktops with Haswell chips

Shadow Systems

Ohhh... I just had an idea!

(Waits in amusement for the screams of terror to die down.)

Given their sizes, imagine a ChromeBox, an Intel NUC, and a Raspberry Pi in a side-by-side-by-side configuration, VESA mounted to the back of a monitor.

A KVM switcher box, all the other periph's on a USB hub, and you could have some serious fun.

It would be like running a triple-boot box, triple VM server, all from the same space as your monitor!

*Happy geek drooling*

Damn it, now I crave Pi.

But what would you call such a rig?

ChromeNucPi? PiNucChrome? PiNuChrome? ChromePi? ChromeNuc? NucPi?

Frankenstein? Cerberus? Bob?

Shadow Systems

I'd be interested in the I7...

...but it depends on the max RAM I could install & if it accepts a user-replaceable HDD/SSD.

Sure it may be less expensive than the NUC, but if the user can't upgrade their own RAM nor the HDD/SSD, then it's not really comparing apples to apples.

I can stuff 16Gb of RAM in the NUC, and either the largest M-SATA (for one of the original variants) or a full sized 2.5" SATA (for the newest variant).

Either way, it's a simple matter to open the NUC & fiddle with it's guts, thus making it infinitely more valuable than the ChromeBox.

But if I can get my hands on the I7 model (not bloody likely in North America), then I'd be willing to buy one just for the sake of giving one a spin.

I'd have to figure out some way of installing a Screen Reader Environment on it so I could use it, but otherwise I can envision having a lot of fun with one.

VESA mount a NUC and a CB to the back of a monitor, use a KVM switch to swap back & forth between them, and plug everything else into a USB hub for ease of access.

Need Windows for something? *Click* Ok.

Want Chrome for something? *Click* Done.

All from a combined box footprint that fits side-by-side on the back of the monitor?

Of course, as a Blind guy, I wouldn't need to spend the money on a monitor, so Neener Neener.



Elite Systems pulls ZX Spectrum games after deluge of 'unpaid royalties' complaints

Shadow Systems

Note he said *Contracted* Developers.

Which means, if you didn't have a contract (signed, on paper, offline variety) then you can just go piss up a tree.

This is why the whole crowdfunded/Indiagogo/kickstarter routine is such a crap shoot: there's no guarantee that anything will ever come from it, the person with their hand out can just take the money & run, and unless you can find them to serve a Warrant, you can kiss any recourse goodbye.

Caveat Emptor, and you probably don't even have a receipt to use as proof to help talk to a lawyer.

Sure there are good ones that deserve the assistance, but finding them is akin to finding the one gold needle in the ginormous pit filled with brass coloured ones.

I hope this one turns out in a good way for everyone involved, but I won't be surprised if it flushes itself completely down the bog.


Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Shadow Systems

It's even worse than that......

Taken a look at your bank's ATM lately?

Want to guess what it runs on?

I'd give you a hint, but I can already see the terror in your eyes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll start storing all my money in empty ammo tins beneath my bed.



Shadow Systems

There's a damn good reason XP is still in such wide use.

After so many years of having the crap kicked out of it, beating down the bugs, karate chopping virus', duck & dodging script kiddies, and generally having the kinks ironed out with a bulldozer & an attitude, it's Stable, Gets The Job Done, and is Good Enough For Gramma.

As the other poster pointed out, if installed on modern hardware with proper drivers, it's got plenty of programming chops to get Outlook, IE, YouTube, and Gramma's favorite game of (Solitaire, MineCraft, Quake, etc) running.

Not merely "running acceptably" but "faster than makes no difference".

Given XP's system requirements, putting it with a 4th generation I7, 16Gb RAM, a 2Gb Nvidia card, Gigabit LAN, and a 500Gb SSD would make it *so* fast that Gramma would probably never need another computer in her life...

Right up until she decides to start running a massively multiplayer Quake server in her sewing room.


Anyway, properly secured, fully patched & updated, on even "lackluster" hardware, an XP machine is "Good Enough" for the nearly 30% of the population.

That scares the crap out of Microsoft, because if those people are willing to hang on tooth & nail to such an "outdated" operating system as XP, MS had better make DAMN sure their (currently available version) Windows is up to snuff.

If it's not, if Gramma has to choose between relearning everything she knows from XP to Win8/8.1, she may just decide to buy a Mac instead.

It's already going to require a new machine, learning an entirely new mode of computing, and if that's the case, the switch will be just as easy to make from Win8 as it would be to a Mac or even Linux if her GrandSon TechGeek can make it look enough like XP to make the transition as painless as possible.

Wanna guess which distro she'll be getting when XP is done?



Lenovo reveals convertible Chromebook

Shadow Systems

Whom would buy a Windows laptop.

Anyone whom needs Assistive Technology (AT) in order to use it in the first place.

As a Totally Blind computer user, I'm required to utilize a Screen Reader Environment (SRE) in order to have access to the machine.

If the machine doesn't have, or can't be equipped with, a SRE, then it's not a computer, it's a boat anchor.

The best SRE for Windows is a program called Jaws by Freedom Scientific.

It's expensive as hell, but it gets the job done.

There's the free alternative of NVDA, but the learning curve on it makes the one for Jaws feel like the difference between learning to crawl & free climbing a reverse-incline cliff face covered in Fullerene based lube.

For *Nix there are various distros like Adrienne Knoppix & the Vinux Project, as well as SRE's like Orca & EasySpeak, but they're still "iffy" at best, and require not only learning the SRE, but the entire OS beneath it.

Since the last time I used *Nix was ~5 years ago on a copy of Ubuntu, my memory of how to use *nix is a bit hazy.

So making it a *double* learning curve is a serious draw back.

Apple machines have built in SRE, but the cost of the damned machines is obscenely prohibitive.

Seriously, when I can buy a 4th gen I5, 8Gb RAM, 500Gb SSD Thinkpad L440 for $850 running Win7Pro64, or spend nearly twice that in order to get even a lackluster Apple laptop, the choice is an easy one to make.

Sure Apple's SRE may be better, but not enough to justify spending nearly an extra $1K to get it.

So in reality, what choice does a Disabled person have?

If we need AT in order to use the machine, and the best AT solution is on a Windows machine, our options are rather limited.

Sure I'd love a *nix system that Just Worked Out Of The Box.

But in the ~5 years I've been searching for one, I haven't found it yet.

Get those *nix Gurus to get their act together & make the Adrienne/Orca/Vinux style AT bits work properly, and then I'll have a choice.

But for now I'm stuck on Windows and loathe every damned moment.


Microsoft builds admin tool to spare Office 365 sellers' blushes

Shadow Systems

Can I feel smug now?

I don't trust anything in "the cloud" to be anything but vapourware.

Do I have physical control over the files? No? Then they're no longer "my" files.

Can I dictate whom has access to "my" files? In theory yes, in practice those files aren't under my physical control, so anyone with a ScriptKiddy mentality & a few extra cpu cycles can sit attacking those files until they've broken any encryption they may have been secured with.

If the site where they're stored goes down, I can't access my files for a few hours?

If the site goes away, do they send me all my files on a USB stick?


I'll take my local client, locally stored files, my physical security over my own files, my own encryption over those files, and my ability to access them any damned time I want/need, NOT just when I've got an internet connection, access to a third party site, and that site decides to LET me access them, ThankYouVeryMuch.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go laugh myself silly over this latest Microsoft imitation of the Fuck Up Farie.



Bonk to enter: Starwood Hotels testing keyless check-in via mobe

Shadow Systems

How secure is it?

If it can be opened legally by a person with the authority to open the door, then it can be opened illegally by anyone able to hack the WiFi signal to the door lock, forge an authorization token for the room, and be inside looting all your stuff without ever triggering security.

At least with a physical room key they either have to steal the key, duplicate the key, or get their hands on a master key to gain entry.

With a Key Card entry system, they've got to obtain a card, a reader to program the card, & hope it works when they approach the door (else they'll slam headlong into the door when it refuses to open due to a wrong code, which also notifies Security).

Sure it's convenient, but how are they going to secure it against some schmuck using WireShark to sniff the transmitted packets, breaking the "encryption" of "password12345", and using that data to gain entry to every room in the place?


Haribo gummy bears implicated in 'gastric exorcism'

Shadow Systems

Maltitol is evil incarnate."

"Excessive consumption may cause laxative effect in sensitive individuals."

That warning must appear on all American products containing Maltitol for a damn good reason.

If your body is sensitive to Maltitol then "excessive consumption" may be as little as "any at all" much less a single serving.

And the effects can be quite gruesome, painfull, disgusting, debilitating, depressing, & amusing to anyone listening outside the lavatory door...

Right up until the smell slaps them in the face & ignites their flesh.

Various confectionaries in the States use it as a sugar replacement, essentially making them entirely off limits to anyone whom can't handle the effects of Maltitol.

Haribo's products in Europe use actual sugar, & their sugar free products tend to use other ingredients than Maltitol.

But the stuff they produce for Americans as "normal" (with sugar) uses processed sugar, & the "sugar free" uses stuff like Maltitol.

As someone whom is unable to eat that substance, I can attest from first hand experience that it is NOT fun.

Sitting on the toilet feeling like you're trying to pass the International Space Station through the eye of a needle is not something to wish on anyone.

So while I don't doubt that such reactions are possible & even probable, since even a Haribo "single serving mini bag" worth of Maltitol would cause some people to feel like Mount Vesuvius were erupting out their bowels, anyone stupid enough to consume an entire "restaurant size" bag of the stuff deserves what they get.

And I agree with the other commenter whom said that most of the reviews were probably just trolls.

The AOL "Me Too!" crowd enjoy dogpiling on such things, even if they have to make it up to do so.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go send another bag of the little shits to the WBC to show them how much I care.

*Evil Giggle*


Does Gmail's tarted-up tab makeover bust anti-spam laws?

Shadow Systems

Dear Gmail. STFU & GTFO.

I don't want spam in my inbox, thus I create email rules to filter it all.

If your faux email ads bypass my filters, I will add your Ad Server to my HOSTS file & stop you dead in your tracks.

I already access my Gmail through MS Outlook, since Outlook is more Accessable than your Web UI.

Think about that a second.

A *Microsoft* product is MORE Accessable than your web interface.

How screwed up do you have to be to be beaten by *Microsoft* in a UI contest?

When the same nimrods that spat forth the MetroUI are doing a better job than you, it's time to take yourself out back of the barn & put a bullet through your head.

So, by accessing Gmail via Outlook, I have thus far avoided having to view your crappy ads.

But if I find them arriving in my Outlook Inbox, so help me Cthulhu, I'll switch to my *ISP* hosted email account, because at least they don't send me anything other than a monthly reminder of my bill.

Oh, my ISP is Comcast, so if I would switch TO them FROM you, think about how hard you suck to have accomplished that.


Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

Shadow Systems

That man is a bunghole.

He's nothing but a racist, bigoted, opinionated, feces spewing gasbag that deserves to be shot into space & shoved towards the sun.<br>The resulting solar flare could power every PV Power plant on the planet for the next billion years.<br>The net reduction in ozone depleting Bullshitium would improve the lives of every other living, sentient member of humanity.<br>It would piss off his fans, but they're neither living, sentient, nor human.<br>Fuck 'em with a barbed wire wrapped Cricket Bat.<br>*Grins*


Village-swallowing MUDCANO was no accident, say boffins

Shadow Systems

Just a thought...

If the mud is geothermally heated, and they've already built dikes to contain the flow, why not build a channel to funnel the flow to where it can be used, and in the process erect hydrothermal power plants along the route?<br>You'd direct the flow away from the populated parts, draw energy from the heat/force of the flow, and deposit it where it might do some good (or at least the least damage).<br>Being blind, I can't see if any of these ideas have been utilized, but if not, why not?<br>"If a blind man can see the solution, what's that say about you Sighted folk?"<br>*Cough*<br>=-)p


Ad man: Mozilla 'radicals' and 'extremists' want to wreck internet economy

Shadow Systems

Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

We don't want your ads.

We set our browsers to block everything but the originating cookies ("First Party"), and even those we have it set to prompt us if we want to allow it be set.

We use HOSTS files to block your ad servers straight to >Dev>Null and thus render your attempts fruitless.

We use extensions & plug in's to block, scramble, thwart, and f4 up any data you *might* manage to get, so suddenly I appear as a 98 year old Retired Woman whom makes $10BUSD per year, on Social Security, homeless with a $92MUSD home & 54 mortgages, no car but just having purchased a $200KUSD Lexus Hybrid SUV (that doesn't exist), and I live in the area code "90210", but list my address as in Washington DC...

In other words, you won't get any data out of me, I refuse to let you data mine me, I refuse to view your advertisements, and you can just go f4 a pig.

I don't read SnailMail spam, ink stamping it "REFUSED" and dropping it back in the box for the carrier to grab the next day.

(Thus *costing you more money*.)

I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room.

(Bathroom break, refill the drink, get munchies, etc.)

I don't read email Spam, and bounce it to the original domain, plus the upstream providers, marked as Unsolicited Commercial Email. Then I add the domain to the Auto-Perma-Bounce-&-Delete rules list, so I never deal with it again.

In short, you don't get to advertise to me.

You speak of freedom & liberty.

Well, your freedom to market does *NOT* mean a freedom to violate MY freedom to tell you to go F4 yourself & Die.

Don't try to blow smoke up my a3 claiming my refuseal of viewing your ads is going to lead to the downfall of the internet.

I was part of the 'net before it became commercialized with all the ad crap, and I'll still be on it long after your ilk have been stood up against the wall & executed like the social s4 stains that you are.

So Shut The F4 Up, Get The F4 Out, F4 Off And Die, & Have A Nice Death.


The Internet.


Windows 8 'sales' barely half as good as Microsoft claims

Shadow Systems

Re: I agree...

At least You can *See* the UI to try & figure out WTF is going on.

Close your eyes, and attempt to navigate that bastard child of an MC Escher & Rube Goldberg nightmare entirely by the Audio Cues it gives you.

Now you've got the barest inkling of an idea of what it's like as a Blind/VI Windows 8 user.

Not much fun, is it?


Shadow Systems

Microsoft lies about sales figures? *GASP* Say it ain't so!

If your Sarcasm-O-Meter didn't just die laughing, it needs to be replaced immediately.

"Never believe everything you read on the internet" is as True now as it was when first muttered by the famous P.T.Barnum so many millions of years ago.


Seriously, MS claimed 100M Win8 machines in use, or that many Win8 Licenses having been vomited forth upon the populace, and somehow we're supposed to believe them?

Just because they issue 100K Win8's to HP, that doesn't mean HP will *ship* that many Win8 computers.

And then there are the "DownGrades" that get used to put something *other* than Win8 on a Win8 machine, further lowering the number of copies of Win8 in the wild from HP.

(Repeat this across Dell, Lenovo, et alia, and you'll soon realize that the numbers Just Don't Add Up.)

So MS issues 10M Win8's to $GovernmentEntity, but does that mean that $GovernmentEntity will actually ever get around to *installing* any of them?

Given the Testing Cycle that any IT Department worth it's salt will put an new Operating System through before *ever* letting it anywhere *near* the Live Production or Customer Interfacing machines, it may be another few YEARS before Win8 ever sees any "serious" deployment numbers...

And that's assuming MS doesn't pull the rug out from under itself *AGAIN* like it did with Win7, by announcing that they'll no longer be supporting the O/S in favor of their Latest & Greatest.

(How many potential Win7 deployments did they torpedo with that announcement? What IT Department is going to waste even one more FemtoSecond of Testing on an O/S that won't be supported before it gets Approved, much less afterwards?)

As a Totally Blind Geek, I know that I myself, and most of the other Blind/Visually Impaired Geeks I know, have little or *no* interest in Win8.

Go read some of the forums WRT using Win8 in conjunction with a Screen Reader Environment (SRE), and you'll find them overflowing with people asking essentially the same two questions, over & over & over again:

"How the F$#* do I do $Action? They've hidden everything again, and nothing makes sense anymore!"


"How the F$@*# do I uninstall this pile of S$#&@ to put something else ((usually XP, but in some cases Win7)) back on?"

And those are just those Geeks whom take the time to ask for help.

Imagine the millions of them (~10M Blind/VI in the USA, ~300M World Wide) whom simply throw up their hands in frustration & disgust, hand the computer to a Geek friend, & say "Nuke that F$#@er & put XP back on it. I don't care, that Windows 8 thing is absolute *CRAP*."

Personally, I can't see (HA! A pun!) the point of a Touch Screen UI being foisted on a Non Touch Screen workspace, so why in the hell would I want to use Win8?

Even my Sighted friends, family, & coworkers find the thing distastefull, and the few that *have* resisted the urge to reformat the machines, have only done so by the grace of Classic Shell's reintroduction of the Start Menu ala Win7.

The sentiment seems to be a uniform "Win8 sucks schweaty meaty monkey bung", and nobody can use it with sufficient dexterity to be Productive.

Which is a Deal Breaker when the main use of your computer is your livelihood, and not being able to get stuff done is Not An Option.

So MS claims 100M Win8 machines in use, or at least Win8 Licenses having been issued.

I'm surprised that the "actual figures" reflect a ~60M potential In Use level, as I'd have thought the "give up in frustration" & "Downgrade" users would be a MUCH higher quotient than a mere ~40%.

But even so, think about that: Nearly Forty Percent of the Windows 8 licenses that Microsoft claims to have issued, Are Not Being Used.

What's that say about a product when nearly *40%* of your claimed user base, *isn't*?

Now, if you'll pardon me, I've got to order another gross of Sarcasm-O-Meters.

I hear there's another Microsoft Press Confference being announced...



Not cool, Adobe: Give the Ninite guys a job, not the middle finger

Shadow Systems

Your Anti-Windows Catalogue.

This would be much more relevant if the leading article on the page isn't from *Two Thousand One*.

I'm sorry if I didn't read far enough to make a different evaluation, but I've got too much else to do than try & sift through a pile of digital dust to find any "gold nuggets" that will turn out to be mere pyrite.

*Smiles, shrugs*

Shadow Systems

Adobe developing Sanity?

Adobe... developing Sanity?


ADOBE? ... Developing *Sanity*?


-=>ADOBE<=- developing _Sanity_?

*Falls on the floor, clutching ribs, howling in pained laughter, unable to breathe, and dies laughing*

Oh my!

You, Sir, should write comedy for a living.

*Wry smirk*

Shadow Systems

The Adobe Redistributeable link.


Consider yourself hugged, given a box of Girl Scout Cookies, and a $RandomFurryCuddlyCritter in gratitude.

(Please be sure to verify that you're not petting the cookies & about to eat the critter... the Cookies *hate* that!)


Shadow Systems

About auto-deleting installers...

As soon as the program is completed in the download, open File Explorer & find the file.

Rename it to something intelligent & identifiable ("Adobe Flash Updater, 2013-05-02") and make a copy to an Archive folder/drive.

This allows you to run it again from another computer, or from the same one at a later time, and not have to download the downloader again.

The next time you go to get an Adobe update manually, check the file sizes on the file you've previously downloaded, & the one you've just received.

If they're the exact same size, chances are they're the exact same file.

Try running (a copy of) the old version's updater first, and see if it does the trick.

If so, delete the recent one, and call it a day.

If it doesn't update to the most recent version, then go ahead & repeat the Rename+Archive+Run cycle on the new updater.

You'll always have a copy of the latest, can apply them when *you* want (versus Adobe trying to ram them home), and may save yourself a headache or two in the long run.

I've been doing this kind of thing for years (*cough*Decades*Cough*) and am always amazed, annoyed, & smug that a program deletes itself.

What if it didn't install correctly? What if it corrupted something & I need to re-run the installer? What if I don't feel like spending *ANOTHER* day & a half grabbing a ~10Mb file from your server in Elbonia over your evidentialy sub-Dial-Up speeds on a flaky POTS line in stormy weather?

So, yeah, grab a copy, Archive it, *then* run it.

Sure, you quickly end up realizing you're another Program PackRat, but nobody taunts you anymore when you've got something The Internet Archive or OldVersion *doesn't*.

(Makes a comical cheeks puffed out, tongue stuck out, HappyHootyMonkeyNoises face.)

Shadow Systems

Feel free to contact me.

My pseudonym at Gmail, and be sure to use "From The Register" in the subject so I don't auto-delete it as spam.

This goes for you or anyone else whom would like me to assist in getting an Accessable site created.

My HTML coding may not be up to snuff, but I can certainly let you know if $URL reads well from my POV.


Shadow Systems

Visit FreedomScientific's site.

Jaws is a free download, & operates in a "40 Minute Mode" indefinitely.

It runs for 40 minutes, then you have to reboot to make it work again, but otherwise is the exact same file as the Registered version.

(You pay for it, give it the reg code, and it unlocks from the time limit.)

Give it a try, close your eyes, turn up the sound on your machine, and listen to Jaws read (your|any) site to you.

Places like the Register are nice because the Print link gives you a Printer Friendly version of the article as a single page, with the links at the end as plain text.

Other sites seem to think that "Print" means "launch your printer's dialog box trying to have it spit out a copy".

This is *NOT* cool, as I don't want an article if it's spread across 15 pages, filled with ads, in full colour, and ultimately ends up being less than a paragraph of actual, useable, readable text.

If you listen to the site, and can, purely by it's audio description, figure out how to navigate & get stuff done, then you've done it right.

However, if your site is the audio equivalent of a flashing, blinking, scrolling marquis, animated gif laden, midi-auto-playing, Geocities nightmare (*cough*Adobe*cough*), then do us all a favour & go nail your head to a tree...


But Jaws is a *very* good tool to use to verify your layout is done nicely, that all the Screen Elements (check boxes, radio buttons, DropDownMenu's not auto-triggering on the first Item you've ArrowKey'd to, etc) done with full text descriptions, that all the images are properly labeled (Alt Text! Use It! And no names like "ZXYSP!2~*#_Blah(DonkeySnot).jpg" either!), and if you MUST use Flash, make *damned sure* the buttons for the controls have text labels.

"Unlabeled button one", "Unlabeled button two", "unlabeled button 9,457,181" do absolutely f4ing *NOTHING*, because I won't click on any of them without knowing what they're for, what they do, and why I should go anywhere near them...

So grab a copy of Jaws, run it across your site, and do what needs be done to make it Accessible.

If you're in America, then the American's with Disabilities Act may apply, but even if it doesn't or you're not in the States, it's still a damned good idea to do it anyway.

Any & all B/VI visitors will thank you profusely, and your HTML coding skills will get honed to a point where you'll be leagues ahead of your competition.

Shadow Systems

It's worse than you think.

As a totally blind Geek, Adobe's site is a nightmare to navigate via Screen Reader Environment (SRE) such as Jaws by Freedom Scientific or NVDA.

This issue is only compounded by Adobe's attempts to foist bundled crapware with the download, as I have to make Jaws read the page *twice* to make sure Adobe hasn't "helpfully included" anything.

Once I've finally managed to get Adobe to understand that all I want is the update, then hit the download link, it's a crapshoot if it ever actually initiates the download.

There's no audio "blip" to tell me I've got a Security Notification & need to Alt+N to the Notification Toolbar to accept the download, Control+J doesn't report any files being downloaded, and UAC hasn't screamed for attention, so I'm left scratching my head wondering if I've actually activated the damned link.

Hit it again, and this time, dispite still no audio cues to the contrary, it gives me the "File Complete" ding to say it's done?

WTF? Control+J, and lo & behold, it shows the Adobe installer as having finished downloading.

When did it get there, because IE didn't seem to think it important enough to announce...


Anyway, after getting the file, then using the Properties to Unblock it, and acknowledging UAC whining about "Not trusting unknown sources on the internet" (If only it knew!), the updater finally starts...

Only to present a User Interface that, to put it quite bluntly, deserves to have everyone at Adobe nailed to a tree limb & used as a Public Pinata.

Unmarked & unlabeled buttons, Required Check Boxes that don't get read by the SRE, elements the SRE can't find much less tell me about, and absolutely *ZERO* assistance from Adobe on the matter.

IF I manage to get it to actually install the update, then it "helpfully" launches a website wanting to know how I feel about the experience.

Really? You do *NOT* want to know how I really feel, because it involves Industrial grade Nail Guns, trees, & electrified-barbed-wire-wrapped-baseball-bats applied repeatedly to your genitals.

Then Ninite steps up to the plate.

The site is a *joy* to navigate, everything is properly labeled & identified, there's no wondering "WTF does this bit do?", the check boxes for the files I want are concise, and when I click that download link, It Just Works.

The file is small, I don't have to Unblock it (UAC doesn't think it's malware? BAH HAhahahaha) and it does what it fekkin says it'll do.

"Install the latest Adobe? Ok, hold on... downloading... done. Applying... done. Anything else with that today, or can I remove myself from memory, Sir?"

I've already uninstalled Java because of all the exploits it has.

I've uninstalled Adobe Reader for the same reason.

If HTML5 were more prevelant, Adobe Flash Player would get ripped out "With Extreme Prejudice", and Adobe would get a "STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND" letter from me.

As it is, I'm stuck using Adobe's Flash Player, and it's about as Blind Accessable as a rabbid badger is friendly & cuddly.

At least you can *SEE* the crap it pulls.

The Blind/VisuallyImpaired have to rely on Adobe having the brains to properly design a UI that's Accessable such that a SRE stands a chance in hell of reading it to us.

Want to take a wild arsed guess as to how well Adobe's done that?


Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

Shadow Systems

Tailor the email to the site.

Some email services allow you to either create an Alias, or as in the case of Gmail, utilize a (Your User Name)"+BlahBlahBlah"(at gmail dot com) addressing convention.

If your name is John Smith, and you're registering at Amazon, then you sign up with "JohnSmith+Amazon".

If it's Jane Doe & you're signing up at "The Sewing Supply Palace", then use "JaneDoe+TheSewingSupplyPalace".

This now *absolutely* identifies where you used the address, and thus whom sold it to the spammers.

From there, it's easy enough to create an email Filter to automaticly permanently delete *ANYTHING* to that Alias as spam, no matter *whom* may have sent it.

From there, you can log in to that site, change all your personal information to garbage, & sign out for the last time.

You've just poisoned their database's value (because it now contains a "Customer" whom isn't *really* named "YouAll SuckSpammingHell", or lives at "1234 Notgonna Tellya Lane, Nowhere, Mumbai", with a telephone number of "+1.23.456.7890", etc) and when the company tries to sell "your" customer data, they then helpfully poison all the *other* potential spammers' databases, too.

If you can't trust them not to spam you, then don't let them keep your personal data, either.

Use an email alias, and if they spam you, alter their copy of your personal data, add an auto-permanent-delete rule to your email client for that alias, and you never get spam to that alias again.

You're welcome.



Southampton Uni slaps IP notice on FOI requests

Shadow Systems

Dear Idiots.

This was a *FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT* request.

There's a REASON it's called FREEDOM, and that's because it's my RIGHT to know WTF you're doing with MY tax-money-sponsored activities.

You can take your protected PDF & EULA, and cram them RIGHT up your kazoo.

I won't even bother opening the PDF, but drop it straight to the printer, put the print-out into the scanner, and OCR the print-out back into my computer.

Watermark? Gone.

Protected PDF? Not any more.

EULA? What EULA? I read no such thing, and certainly didn't agree to your BS attempt at limiting my RIGHTS under the FOIA for the data.

Then I shall make available the original protected file AND the unprotected copy, in a single ZIP file, and redistribute it as far & wide as I possibly can.

And if you try and stop me, I'll sue you for violating my Right to Free Speech.

My Right to the data & Right of Free Speech trumps your desire to limit my Speech & disseminating the data.

It's OUR data, WE paid for it, so you can KMA if you think we won't spread it far & wide.

And I'm not even on the "right side of the Pond".


Second Life figures cast doubt on Ofcom report

Shadow Systems

Nielsen's full of it.

[Quote] Nielsen, who produced the figures for Ofcom, countered that it is a common misperception that third party research must be more inaccurate than in-house data. They suggested that their take on SL usage might be a better representation of reality than the raw SL figures. [/Quote]

You're trying to tell me that your sample of the raw data is more accurate than the raw data itself?

Sorry, but You Fail Statistics 101.

If your sampling of a given data set shows one thing, but the entire data set shows something different, it is not the data set that's wrong, but the sampling you've taken from it.

This is akin to asking 10K people for their favorite flavour of ice cream, taking a "random sample" of those results, and claiming people prefer Bollocks flavoured ice cream.

If we go back through the entire data set & find that only 100 people claimed to enjoy that flavour, then your conclusion based on your obviously-flawed sample is to blame, NOT the raw data.

In this case, SL's raw data proves Nielsen's lying out it's arse.

Nielson *FAIL*.

Case Closed.


Microsoft catches 11 UK pirate retailers

Shadow Systems

MS is, once again, full of shite.

"Microsoft reminds businesses and consumers that if they buy a computer with software pre-loaded it should come with proper documentation and backup discs."

HP, Dell, & *every* other major name-brand dealer on the market hasn't given a proper set of restore media in almost a *decade*.

They use online documentation for effectively all their "Help", supposedly so they can keep the docs "as current & accurate as possible", but realistically so they don't spend the few pennies per machine to burn the docs to a disk..

They use "restore partitions" & tell the *USER* to create their own copies of the partition; the Customer has to buy their own media & burn their own recovery disks.

And *IF* they offer restore media at all, they charge extra to get them.

I purchased an HP HDX18, arguably one of the top-of-the-line laptops on the market, and despite the amount I paid for it, there was *zero* restore media included.

A Restore partition yes, but no included back-up disks.

So, MS, unless you're going to demand your OEM's include the media from now on in EVERY system they sell, your advice is completely out of touch with reality.



Microsoft assaults our senses with 'viral' Bing video

Shadow Systems

It is being used as a verb, adverb, noun, and adjective...

Just not a *complimentary* ones as they'd hoped.

Dear Microsoft,

Please take this as a sincere opinion from someone who had long been a loyal customer but whom you've driven away from the fold by calling a pirate one too Bing'ing many times.

This is utter, complete, and total Bing.

You need to stop spending billions on advertising that could be produced for free by a team of stoned, five year olds with a hand full of half melted crayons sitting on an Earth Quake simulation table.

Spend your money improving your main offering to the market, your OS.

I realize you want to push Win7, but YOU need to accept that "Average Joe" consumers, "Tech Dude" pro-sumers, and "Business Bean Counters" industry people may NOT want to jump through the hoops it will take to upgrade to it.

Accept that, and continue to support XP for those who are sick of the constant upgrade churn & burn; a new OS should NOT require a new computer to run, and forcing the purchase of one is a major hurdle to those who would otherwise be willing to at least TRY your new OS.

Offer Win7 to those who want it, but do NOT completely abandon your already-proven, tried-and-true, almost-all-the-kinks-ironed-out, cash cow that is XP.

XP runs on older hardware, and will run on newer hardware if available.

With a simple addition to a boot configuration (enabling the PE), you can enable XP to access larger amounts of RAM, but since 2 Gig of RAM is more than enough for the "Average Joe", (Techy's, I am NOT aiming that at us, so don't whine) XP can already handle it perfectly fine as-is.

Win7 *supposedly* runs on "lower spec" hardware, but we all know that's NOT what it was designed for.

You designed it for quad-core CPU's, 3 Gig of RAM or more, SATA-3 1Tb HD's systems that can do some serious computational acrobatics.

That's fine, and a perfectly acceptable market to market it towards.

But not at the expense of alienating all your other customers who aren't ready to upgrade their computers yet.

If Granny's 500MHz, 512Mb RAM (16megs of Shared VRAM), 20Gb HD system does the job of accessing the web, reading her email, writing to the Grand Kids, and surfing the web from XP, what makes you think she wants, much less NEEDS a new system with 4x the specs & a new OS, just to continue doing what she's been doing perfectly well...???

Heck, the "Average Joe" system of 1.5GHz, 1~2Gb RAM (128Mb Shared VRAM), 100Gb HD is more than enough to do those same tasks, and even play a few decent games, all on XP.

He has no need to upgrade the system, since it already does what he needs, and in today's economy, dropping $500 on a new computer *he doesn't need* is something the Wife & Kids might beat him to death over, sell off his corpse to medical science, then return the computer for a refund, and use the money to pay that month's rent instead.

*Amused Cough*

All us Techy people, we've got systems that can easily make use of Win7's capabilities, *but XP still does the job perfectly fine*.

Why should we drop $200 to buy your latest & greatest OS, when what we've got is already doing the job we're asking of it?

Then there are the Hard Core Gamers with systems that are probably Sentient and they just don't know it yet.

They may try Win7 to see if it eeks out a few more Frames per Second out of their bleeding-edge High Definition games, but chances are, they'll be rebooting back into XP to get their gaming fix on.


Because XP works.

YES it has issues, but they are issues the public has grown used to & can be reasonably-sure of fixing fairly quickly.

I am an MS TechNet subscriber.

As a long-time Beta Tester for various companies, I have owned every version of Windows since it's conception.

I qualified for, and purchased, multiple copies of Win7 for my own use, testing purposes, & ultimately to use when applying to a customer's system who wishes for a legit copy of Win7.

But I run Ubuntu on my home machine, and only run Windows in Virtual Machines, because Microsoft has called my LEGIT copies of Windows "pirated" one too Bing'ing many times.

So, Dear Microsoft, you can spend every penny you've got trying to get others to do your advertising for you, and every penny will be for naught.

Until you realize that you've ALREADY GOT a viable product that the people want, and go back to supporting / improving it, your "Flashy New OS" isn't going to do too well because people like me, who used to support you & now steer customers clear of you, will do everything in our power to shine the light of Truth into your sphere of FUD.

Stop being a bunch of Bing'ing Bingers, and get your Bing's in gear.

Give the Customers what they want (XP as the "tried & true", and Win7 as the "maybe, but not until they get the bugs worked out" option), which is *choice*.

Not treating your Customers like pirates might help a bit, too...


Microsoft store crumples as Win7 promo kicks off

Shadow Systems

@James 12

"PS: I've tried the penguin, but it was too much like hard work just to get an ATI graphics card working... I, like stuff to work first them configure second, not the other way round."

Not sure why you had trouble...

My "bleeding edge" system (AMD quad-core 3Ghz, 12Gb RAM, ATI Radeon HD4880 w 2Gig VRAM) was detected just fine with Ubuntu (9.04, "Jaunty Jackalope", released in April of this year).

The *only* reason I bothered to install the "restricted" ATI drivers was to see if video quality improved significantly.

It didn't, and I switched back to the default video drivers, which correctly identified the monitor's capabilities (1920x1200), the video card's capabilities/specs (2Gb VRAM), and are currently working just peachy.

I accept that our stories are anecdotal at best, but every version of Linux (Debian, Gentoo, Suse, Ubuntu, Xandros, and even a beta version of "Lindows") I've ever installed were all able to properly detect/drive my ATI cards.


Maybe give it another try?



Microsoft cries netbook victory against Linux

Shadow Systems
Thumb Down

There's a VERY good reason WHY, too...

Check the specs for a Windows versus Linux model.

The Linux model may be slightly less expensive (if you're lucky), but you're getting a lower-spec machine.

When the price difference is that close, then no one wants the lower-spec machine, and thus they skip Linux.

Give me the *exact same hardware* no matter which OS I choose to have installed, and make the Linux machine less expensive, THEN you might have a valid argument for people choosing Windows over Linux.

But at this point, you're comparing two *different* machines, two different speed CPU's, different amounts of RAM, different size HD's (or offering SSD's on only ONE version), with a price difference that doesn't reflect the difference in software, but the difference in *hardware*.

Of COURSE people are "choosing Windows over Linux", they're opting for the machine with the better specs that you ONLY offer with Windows.

That's like saying people prefer Lamborghini's versus Tricycles when you're only charging less-than-the-MSRP for the Lambo & 3000% more than the MSRP on the tricycle.


Acer sued for shipping Vista-book with GB of memory

Shadow Systems

My two pence...

I have been into computers for over two decades.

I have been a Windows Tech for over ten years.

I know how to optimize Windows to run as fast as possible on the machine trying to run it.

I just purchased an HP HDX18.

This is an Intel Quad Core 2.2GHz, 4Gb RAM, 1Gb dedicated VRAM NVidia, 500Gb 5400RPM SATA equipped system that came with Vista Home Premium 64 Bit.

It comes, out of the box, with a Vista "Usability Score" of *three point eight*.

If a system like THIS doesn't even rate a Four, what chance in HELL does a netbook of running Vista worth a damn?

I spent two full days tweaking it to run as fast as possible, and in the end had to DISable most of the functions (Aero, indexing, etc) in order for it to be as responsive as my old (AMD 64 single core 2GHz, 2Gb RAM, 512Meg ATI, 200Gb 5400 RPM SATA) system running XP Pro...

I ended up swapping the original HD for another 500Gb 5400 RPM SATA, installing Ubuntu, and never looking back.

I should not EVER have to disable half an OS for a machine (especially one of those specs) to run smoothly.

Flames icon, because Vista wasn't worth the match it would take to physically burn the DVD it came on.


Moonlight plans video-patent police beater for Linux

Shadow Systems

No offense, but they can all go bugger each other...

I buy a disk labeled with the DVD/BluRay logo, that means it is playable on any device that also carries the DVD/BluRay logo.

It doesn't matter if it's a Windows / Mac / Linux machine, a portable DVD/BluRay player, the deck in the dashboard of my car, the stand-alone player in the entertainment center with the tv, etc.

I've paid for it, there's nothing they can do to stop me playing it on any device I own capable OF playing it.

So the fact that I run Linux is beside the point, the fact that they are artificially restricting my ability to use something I've already paid for (by claiming I need to buy codecs so the *software* can do what the *physical device* already is intended on doing, namely *playing the disk*) means I get to give them The Finger.

I'll exercise my Fair Use Rights, as well as the DMCA itself, in using any means necessary to bypass your artificial restrictions so that I can play my legally obtained movie.

Don't like it?


It's mine, I paid for it, and I'm trying to play it on my Player.

Oh, wait, I *AM* playing it on my player, because there's not a damned thing you can do to stop me.

Pirate Logo because evidently I am one for exercising my Rights.


Microsoft courts enterprises with Windows 7

Shadow Systems

Microsoft doesn't operate in our frame of Reality.

They want business' to upgrade to Windows 7, even after having *just* attempting to screw them over with Vista.

What business owner in their right mind is going to want to lay out the cash needed to upgrade every computer in the company JUST to run a "bleeding edge" release from Microsoft?

Every company I consult for is still running "antiquated" computers (from single-core 1GHz & under a Gig of RAM, to single-core 2GHz & about a Gig of RAM) that, as far as Microsoft is concerned, isn't good enough to run Vista nor Seven.

(My brand new HP HDX18, quad-core 2GHz + 4Gig RAM + 64Gig SSD doesn't even rate a *FIVE* on the Vista performance scale, so what chance in HELL do the older machines have?)

In this down-turned economy, what company can afford to upgrade everything (that already works with, & is currently running relatively smoothly with, XP) to something that has known driver issues, known incompatibilities with existing software, requires thousands of dollars *per machine* to bring it up to the minimum specs required to run the OS with any form of competency ("snappiness"), & will require hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars *per employee* to retrain to use it properly?

(Your IT staff alone may break the bank, much less retraining your rank & file workers.)

Microsoft hasn't got a clue, it seems.

If a business owner already has a working infrastructure, what's the point in "upgrading" to something that, arguably, may cause them to go out of business?

None that I can see.

Yes XP is a pig, but it's a pig we know, are familiar with, and have already worked-out the kinks (for the most part) so we can work with what we have.

Vista's a pig that is still trying to find the bugs, can't get them to go away, & eats from the resources trough like a, well, pig.

Windows Seven is, supposedly, a "lighter on the resources" OS, but it's still in *BETA*, and there isn't a competent business owner on the planet who will throw away what they have, that they know works, on the "pig in a poke" that is Seven.

("Joke Alert" because if MS thinks that we're falling for this, the punch-line's on them...)


You did what? The trials of supporting remote users

Shadow Systems

All I can say is...

I used to work for Packard Bell.

Administrating, Maintaining, & Troubleshooting a Windows 95 network of over 5,000 PC's, 12 Servers, 4 "R&D" stations, and MILES of 10bT cabling...

I mean literal *miles* - the complex was an old Military Armoury - ten buildings, each two American Football fields *wide* & 1/4 mile long.

Networked together for controlling the R&D, testing, maintenance, production, & shipment thereof, Packard Bell personal computers.

I'd still be going through therapy if it weren't for my ability to suppress the memories of that hell hole & the suffering working there caused.

If I never see a Packard Bell machine running Windows 95a again, I will be a VERY happy geek.


Freeway-averse Peapod runabout to go on sale in April

Shadow Systems
Thumb Down

This thing's effectively worthless. =(

30 mile range with a top speed of 25mph?

I live less than a mile from my local grocery store.

When I go buy groceries, I have to buy more than I can reasonably be expected to carry (I have a family), so I'd need something with at LEAST enough "trunk space" to hold a week's worth of groceries.

This vehicle wouldn't cut it, because unless I'm mistaken, it's about the size of a malnourished golf cart.

I couldn't use this vehicle because, in order to GET to said store, I have to travel on a 45mph surface street.

I couldn't LEGALLY operate that "car" on the road because, without a giant orange "SLOW VEHICLE!" triangle on the back (like you see on tractors & horse drawn carriages), I'd be the cause of major traffic accidents from the speed differential!

So, oh goodie, a "car" I can't use around town because it's not fast enough to drive the main road.

AND you want to charge me the price of a new (albeit low-end) car to boot?

No thanks.

I'm better-off with a three-wheel trike & big basket on the front - at least I can carry enough groceries for the week, still don't use any gas, and I've saved myself $15,800...


'Spam-friendly' domain registrars named and shamed

Shadow Systems

Every last one of them can KMA.

It doesn't surprise me to find eNom at #2 on that list.

"Reunion.com" (hosted by eNom) has been constantly spamming me for months & trying to get them to stop has gotten me nowhere.

So I finally set up a Message Rule to auto-forward *everything* from *any* eNom hosted server, straight to their up-stream provider's abuse, legal, and domain address'.

No more "Someone is looking for you", no more Web-Cam invites, & a *LOT* of my previous volume of spam has dropped considerably.

(Well, what I actually SEE of it has dropped - everything from eNom is being bounced & deleted unread, which works well-enough, too.)

Either eNom's up-stream provider will get sick & tired of getting spammed by eNom hosted domains & cut them off, or they'll set up their own Message Rule to auto-dump MY emails.

Either way, it's no longer my problem.

May all the companies on that list die a horrible, grisly, agonizing death in a stew of their own internal organs.

(Extremely rude gesture towards them all.)


X2 triplex supercopter gets tail-drive hooked up

Shadow Systems
Black Helicopters

(Excessive geeky drooling)

Where do I send my money, and can I get it in all matte black?

(Whispering "Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!" under my breath...)



Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

Shadow Systems

It's not that uncommon, unfortunately.

A lot of corporations like to store an employee's Roaming Profile on a central server so that, no matter what computer they might log-in from, they are able to access their documents, short-cuts, email, etc.

Depending on the capabilities of the Profile storage server, having 100 or more employees all trying to log-in at once (like they would at the beginning of a shift) tends to bog it straight-down into the loo.

My previous employer finally had the mental-bulb click on after six months of yelling at us to "stop goofing off & get to work" each morning.

"Sorry, but until the system comes on-line, I can't *DO* anything at my station."

And it might take 5, 10, or even 15 minutes before the Profile server manages to serve up everyone's data.

Which means, until the Server lets the system know that I'm trying to log-in, I can't get to anything on the network in order to do my job.

And yes, that was every morning, Monday through Friday.

Going home was easier, because telling it to log-off meant I'm off the clock.

What it does after that point, I couldn't care less about.

WHY they shut the systems down each night, I have no idea, but if it meant a free 10 minutes each morning to "mentally prepare myself" to "get into gear", AND I got paid for it, then far-be-it for me to complain.

That's where they're getting angry.

They're at work, they're being told to do work-related things, but because their system hasn't finished logging them in (hence, they're not being PAID) they're angry at the loss of pay.

I don't blame them one bit.

I got up on time, I got to work early, I'M there & ready-to-go when I'm supposed to be, so I expect to get paid for it.

Just because their computer systems, which I'm required to use, aren't available, isn't my problem.

I'm there, I get paid.

If you refuse to pay me, then I refuse to work.

Occam's Razor.


Net provider accused of coddling crooks yanked offline

Shadow Systems

@Kain Preacher & Clover

The upstream providers were told time & time again, by members of every level of internet communications (from us "mere peons" to FCC bigwigs), that McColo was dirty.

Time & time again, those same upstream providers refused to DO anything about it, because they insisted the "occasional" spam was but a temporary issue & "solved" by "issuing a warning".

Until *multiple* ISP's got together, recorded GIGS of traffic data, all of it illegal, all of it pointing to McColo, and all of it actionable under U.S. Federal Law for child pornography, money laundering, wire fraud, & various other RICO Act violations.

The multiple ISP's effectively said, in unison "Shut them down, or we'll take YOUR butts to Court as Accessories."

At which point, McColo's upstream providers had two choices:

Continue to provide service to a known criminal organization & risk being thrown into prison right beside them, or kill McColo's connection & *hope like hell* that the Feds would accept that as some form of "proof" that said upstream providers were NOT in collusion with McColo.

Unfortunately, too many ISP's have too much data to prove otherwise.

We may see a veritable feces-storm hit the hurricane.

But then, with the levels of corruption we're talking about, there may be quite a few bribes, secret handshakes, a comical "slap on the wrist", and *silence*.